3 Ways to Use the Apple Teacher Program in Your District
Charles Schwab once said, “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best in a man is by appreciation and encouragement.“
For those of us working to support teachers with the integration of technology into their curriculum, each scenario is unique. There are no guides or play-by-play of what to do, and so we often turn to one another to share best practices such as Twitter chats like #TosaChat. With everyone’s plate relatively full, it can often be challenging to arouse enthusiasm for reimagining teaching and learning.
Every once in awhile a resource comes along that gets everyone excited. With the social media buzz around the Apple Teacher Program, we’ve definitely seen how this resource sparks enthusiasm for learning new ideas. A quick glance at the #AppleTeacher posts everyone has been sharing on Twitter, prove that despite not having grown up with technology everyone can learn how to use it.
As someone who works with teachers on integrating technology, I immediately ask, “How can we use the enthusiasm generated by the Apple Teacher Program to encourage teachers to transition from consumption of ideas to creation of their own.”
I’m often inspired by a mantra used by one of my colleagues, Maria Maldonado, at the USC PA program, “See one, do one, teach one,” an approach often used in the teaching of medicine. So how might we apply the see one, do one, teach one, model to the Apple Teacher Program?
Apple Teacher Program: See One
The Apple Teacher program offers two tracks: one for iOS and one for Mac. Each module begins with a starter guide focused in on a specific area, such as Keynote, Pages or Creativity. As you work through the different starter guide you learn about all the features and create your own product. If teachers have access to both devices, consider having them choose one track to work with initially. Simply seeing the design and structure of the associated iBooks is a powerful experience that can give teachers ideas for how to share their own content with students.
Each module ends with a series of quiz questions. The questions present scenarios that not only test your knowledge of the different features in the app, but also give you ideas for how you can use the apps when planning your lessons.
Teachers have a full plate, so be sensitive when creating a timeline for completion. Talk with teachers about their schedule and set a realistic time frame for when this portion can be completed. Moreover, instead of working in isolation, consider creating cohorts of teachers that teach the same content area across your school, district, or beyond who can work together to add a collaborative and social element to the process. Create an online space, like a Seesaw class for example, where they can share their learning, ideas and reflections throughout the process. Once the teachers have completed the modules they will receive their Apple Teacher badge that they can proudly share, so don’t forget to celebrate success!
Apple Teacher Program: Do One
Once your cohort of teachers has completed the modules and received their Apple Teacher badge, the next step is for them to “Do One” by creating their own teaching scenarios, similar to the ones that were presented during the quiz portion of the module. Begin by exploring what problem they are trying to solve. Use this opportunity to discuss learning objectives, challenges and opportunities in the classroom.
Teachers could do the planning of these lessons independently or collaboratively. As the instructional coach, work side by side with teachers to plan the lesson, if needed. While brainstorming, have them browse the Inspiration for Teachers and Learning Resources for Teachers sections to get ideas.
Once the teachers are ready to launch the lesson in their classrooms, be there to offer support and take pictures/video that you can use to publish in a blog post on the lesson to share with a global audience. These pictures and video clips can also be used in the final part of this process.
Encourage teachers to share resources and inspiration they found online in Seesaw with their peers. As always celebrate success! Create your own badge that you will give teachers upon completion of this milestone.
Apple Teacher Program: Teach One
In the final stage, imagine taking the framework presented in the Apple Teacher Program and having teachers build upon it. Like we say we should do with our students, provide teachers with choice for what and how they would like to create. Here the goal is for the teachers to take the lesson they have created, or an app they have used and, “Teach One,” to another colleague. For example, a teacher could use their newly acquired Keynote skills to create a short slideshow as seen in the “real stories” section in the Apple Teacher website, highlighting how to carry out the lesson they designed.
If anyone is feeling more ambitious, they may even like to create a “Starter Guide” to an app that they use. To support any teachers who may want to consider this option, create a template that teachers can then build on. The template could be built in either iBook Author or Book Creator. To accompany the book, the teachers could create a short quiz and design a badge that others will receive when they have completed their module.
As always, let teachers decide whether they wish to work independently or collaboratively. Once the teachers have completed this step, present them with their badge (you will have to create your own). Publish these books to share with others and celebrate their success.
If you are working to support teachers on integrating iPads and Macbooks, how have you been using the Apple Teacher Program? Perhaps an interesting topic for discussion at the next EdCamp or meetup could be, “how might we build on the enthusiasm generated by the Apple Teacher Program to encourage and appreciate teachers as they see one, do one and teach one?”
Don’t miss the chance to learn from Sabba and other Apple Distinguished Educators at the Innovation Summit next month in Boston.
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